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Bill O’Brien grew frustrated with Penn State politics

Bill O'Brien AP

The Texans knew they’d be in the job market around a month ago, when they fired Gary Kubiak.

But Kubiak’s official departure came two days after his replacement confided to a reporter that he wasn’t long for Penn State.

In a comprehensive look at Bill O’Brien’s departure from the college ranks for the Texans job — which O’Brien accepted last night — David Jones of PennLive.com detailed a Dec. 4 conversation with a frustrated O’Brien.

“That’s why, in probably about a month, they’re gonna be —-ing looking for a new coach,” O’Brien told him that night.

There seemed to be particular frustration with the political side of being a college coach, the glad-handing and recruiting that takes up more time than the football. Trying to manage that at a place wracked by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and the legions of fans beholden to former coach Joe Paterno, was a line O’Brien tired of walking.

“You can print this: You can print that I don’t really give a —- what the ‘Paterno people’ think about what I do with this program,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can to show respect to Coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. I’m tired of it.

“For any ‘Paterno person’ to have any objection to what I’m doing, it makes me wanna put my fist through this windshield right now. . . .

“I’m trying to field the most competitive football team I can with near-death penalty —-ing sanctions. Every time I say something like that and somebody prints it, it’s skewed as an excuse. And I’m not an excuse-maker. I’m trying to do the best I can for the kids in that program. That’s all I care about is the kids in that program. As long as I’m the head football coach here.”

That led to the revelation he wasn’t going to be there much longer, likely knowing there was interest from the Texans before the final decision on Kubiak’s future was announced.

Being able to get back to the tunnel-vision world of the NFL is likely good for him, and his passion should be an immediate boost for a Texans team that fell flat this year, despite high expectations.

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113 Responses to “Bill O’Brien grew frustrated with Penn State politics”
  1. stainlineho says: Jan 1, 2014 8:26 AM

    Don’t blame the dude one bit. I think he will be good, hard-nosed NFL coach.

  2. nyyjetsknicks says: Jan 1, 2014 8:30 AM

    Tell us how you really feel.

  3. jackybadass says: Jan 1, 2014 8:34 AM

    Penn state was a steppingstone job bill. Everyone except lion idiots new he was going back to the nfl

  4. canetic says: Jan 1, 2014 8:37 AM

    Sounds like he burned out as a head coach after two years in college. Does not bode well for Houston.

  5. sdiegosteel says: Jan 1, 2014 8:37 AM

    I understand his point of view, and I say this as a Penn State fan. And yet a guy who graduated from Brown shouldn’t be so clueless to see that that is what college coaching is.

    Hope your successful in the pros, Bill – – because that kind of statement basically means you’re not coming back to any college.

  6. justchuckn says: Jan 1, 2014 8:40 AM

    Bill Obrien getting a little sassy

  7. thesmartest1 says: Jan 1, 2014 8:41 AM

    Wow don’t hold back. I mean this helps everything.

  8. aosplayo says: Jan 1, 2014 8:49 AM

    Well I get the frustrations, you did a good job anyways BOB. Good luck in HOU and thanks for helping a community heal.

  9. wryly1 says: Jan 1, 2014 8:50 AM

    There an old adage that says you never want to be the one that follows the legend. Better to be the one who follows the guy, who followed the legend. O’Brien just experienced that firsthand. Patern0’s patrons are still in deep denial that, at a minimum, Joe Pa enabled and facilitated a child molester.

  10. fatguystrangler says: Jan 1, 2014 8:52 AM

    You never want to be the guy that replaces the guy…especially if that guy was JoePa. O’Brien did a yeomans job to keep Penn State relevant and afloat among crippling sanctions, but I don’t blame him for leaving. Paterno people will probably hound any future coaches, and that will always be a problem if they want to keep a good coach. Feel bad for the recruits, but that’s why one should commit to a school, not a coach IMO.

  11. amgdds says: Jan 1, 2014 8:54 AM

    If you really don’t give an ‘F,’ then why even talk about it, let alone want to put your fist through a windshield.
    Yeesh, this guy needs to get his temper under control.
    Greg Schiano II. Mutiny by 2016.

  12. fissels says: Jan 1, 2014 8:55 AM

    I’m a “Paterno person” and I think Bill did a GREAT job. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. He kept the program together under very difficult circumstances. I wish him all the best in Houston.

  13. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 1, 2014 8:56 AM

    Can’t blame the guy for that. Paterno and his entourage ruined that program and I for one do not blame O’Brien for wanting out of that disaster project. Nothing against PSU but be honest with yourselves, Joe Pa and Sandusky ruined anything they created.

  14. phillyinknoxville says: Jan 1, 2014 8:56 AM

    As a Penn State alum, I’m thankful for Bill O’Brien and the stability he brought to the program in the wake of the sanctions. That being said, if he’s going to flirt with the NFL every offseason because that’s truly where he wants to be, then he needs to go ahead and leave. Also, I think he’s being a bit of a cry baby. For as much as he was a college assistant prior to joining the Patriots, he should understand that the HC position involves a good amount of politicking, hand-shaking, and baby-kissing. If he’s like Bill Belichick and can’t handle that, then maybe he’s not cut out to be a college HC anyway.

    Moving forward, I want the first call to be Vanderbilt’s James Franklin. We need to get to him before Texas does. Imagine what he can do at an actual football school.

  15. footballgod87 says: Jan 1, 2014 8:59 AM

    I wonder why this conversation didn’t come out until now

  16. dartwick says: Jan 1, 2014 9:01 AM

    As a Penn State alumni this makes me kind of sad.

    All the idiots there who drove out a good coach and reasonable man and now they will they think they have something better with gren Shiano.

    It boggles the mind.

  17. heyguru1969 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:05 AM

    He did an amazing job with a program in shambles, and the people at PSU somehow couldn’t appreciate it. Good for him, movin’ on up. Whoever steps in now is stepping into the same “steeped in tradition” BS that O’Brien just faced. Too bad. It’s a new year, folks. Get over your “legendary” status and stand behing your new coach.

  18. Gordon says: Jan 1, 2014 9:06 AM

    He sounds like one angry dude.

  19. gammynomnom says: Jan 1, 2014 9:09 AM

    It says a lot about the state of mind of college fans that there are actually ” Paterno people” out there. Sure he looked the other way while kids were being molested but hey, he was a winner, right guys? Sickening.

  20. gorilladunk says: Jan 1, 2014 9:11 AM

    I’ll say this for the guy…he’s honest as hell. I’d like to see a lot more of that from coaches at ALL levels. He found out that he was put in an impossible situation. As the old saying goes…”never be the guy that replaces a legend. Be the guy that replaces the guy that replaced the legend”.

  21. theageofquarrel says: Jan 1, 2014 9:13 AM

    Then why did you take the job in the first place?

  22. @Cereal_22 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:14 AM

    Way to keep your composure & go out with class B’OB. The guy is a hot head, I wont miss watching him go bezerk on college kids after a mistake.

  23. arrowmint says: Jan 1, 2014 9:14 AM

    At the end of the day, football is just a game but many children’s lives were destroyed by a serial child rapist and by those who looked the other way and covered it up.

    That Penn State even has a football program anymore is shocking and goes to show the nepotism and corruption in the NCAA.

  24. adamt326 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:17 AM

    It’s tough to see Coach Bill go, but if people were any less than 100% supportive of what he was doing at this school then I don’t blame him. He seemed VERY frustrated during that interview. I would think that the people that made him feel that way were in the minority. I don’t know anyone who didn’t support what he was doing. I have nothing but respect for what he did at Penn State. He got everything he could out of that team. A lot of programs would have crumbled with the situation he walked into, but he held it together. I would have loved to see how Christian Hackenberg would have developed over the next 2-3 years under Coach O’Brien, but I wish them both the best of luck.

  25. dickshotdogs says: Jan 1, 2014 9:18 AM

    I’ve read the negative comments about Coach O’Brien on this site in previous posts. Let me tell you something Texans fans, you’re gonna love him . Screw the snide remarks. Sit back and watch your team make an even better one year change than The Chiefs did. Obviously, QB play is key here, but The Texans are going to be one tough out next year.

    signed,

    Patriots fan

  26. jjb0811 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:20 AM

    He knew what he was signing up for. This was released as an excuse for accepting the Texans job. If he didn’t know that people would fight for Joe Pa and his 50+ years at PSU, then he’s an idiot and will be fired shortly from the Texans.

  27. jgater1981 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:23 AM

    How do you really feel? Don’t hold back now.

  28. MyTeamsAllStink says: Jan 1, 2014 9:23 AM

    Joe Paterno could of burned down an orphanage full of blind kids who,were molested by Sandusky and PSU fans would blame the kids for not getting out of the building.This program should of gotten the death penalty and its a sham they still are allowed to play football.

    Good for Bill OBrien for getting the hell away from those delusional fans!

  29. qdog112 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:23 AM

    “Bill O’Brien grew frustrated with Penn State politics”
    *************************
    BS! He knew what he was up against when he took the job. He gets no pass. He is no different from the other coaches who selfishly had a cup of coffee in one place, only to jump at a situation that betters his personal life, all while assuring players, administration, alumni and fans alike, that he’s “here for the duration”.

    I don’t blame him for seeking to advance, but STOP LYING. There are worthy candidates in the pros without him. O’Brien is the type who will jumpship when things get hot, while proven coaches get ignored.

  30. cometkazie says: Jan 1, 2014 9:28 AM

    Politics at Penn State????

    You don’t say . . .

    Imagine.

    Prolly just like UTexas.

  31. steelerfanforlife says: Jan 1, 2014 9:29 AM

    What a joke this guy is! Hope he’s fired by mid season next year.

  32. blakeden says: Jan 1, 2014 9:30 AM

    RIP Coach Joe…..With that said the Paterno “faction” need to go away and let Penn State move on

  33. bobleblah says: Jan 1, 2014 9:32 AM

    If the Texans knew they were going to get O’Brien from the start, then Lovie Smith is token interview to fill the Rooney Rule.

    That violates the spirit of the rule, which is about giving minorities a chance to break into the old boy’s club. Lovie Smith is already in the club.

    If a team is going to have a sham interview, they should at least have to do it with someone who has not had a chance to be a head couch yet.

  34. 10kmp says: Jan 1, 2014 9:33 AM

    There seemed to be particular frustration with the political side of being a college coach, the glad-handing and recruiting that takes up more time than the football.

    What did he expect when he accepted a college job? Everyone knows that recruiting is the name of the game in college football. A head football coach in the NCAA is a recruiter, a program builder, a motivator and a fundraiser… the least of what he does is actually coach football in the dirt.

  35. wmatthew760 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:36 AM

    If this is true good riddance. He knew what the job entailed and that it was not going to be easy. If he let people get under his skin easily he is not long for the NFL. I have to think that the “politics ” in the NFL are worse . Nothing but a looser who knew now that sanctions where being lifted the expectation at PSU would rise and he couldn’t handle it. Have a nice life you ungrateful person who no one wanted 2 years ago. #another Belichick flunkie,

  36. surfinbird1 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:37 AM

    Somebody hold a gun to your head Bill to take that job? You knew exactly what you were walking into. Enough with the drama. Slimeball.

  37. johncarr43 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:37 AM

    It would be tough enough to follow a legend like Joe Paterno under normal circumstances and the situation at Penn State was about as far from normal as you could imagine.

  38. poochessays says: Jan 1, 2014 9:38 AM

    Sorry to hear that! Good luck Bill, you will be missed!

  39. bigbens69taintedlove says: Jan 1, 2014 9:38 AM

    “I’m trying to do the best I can for the kids in that program. That’s all I care about is the kids in that program.” Coach Jerry circa 1998

    Thank you, thank you Ill be here all night. Try the veal and tip your waitress!

  40. xli2006 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:39 AM

    He’s had a string of poorly handled media situations. This is clearly not something you leak to the media. Part of your compensation requires you to “play the media game” regardless of the situation especially while under contract.

    After being throttled by Indiana he refused to even answer questions about the game even into the following weeks.

    15-9 was respectable as Penn St tried to weather that storm, but the Bad losses were masked by a few big wins.

    A decent hire, but there were better options for the Texans especially if they were dipping into the College level.”

  41. kerzondax says: Jan 1, 2014 9:41 AM

    Penn State should have gotten the Death Penalty.

  42. elliottcovert says: Jan 1, 2014 9:47 AM

    Dang, O’Brien’s got some Dikta-style fire in his belly. I like that.

  43. totallyuselessme says: Jan 1, 2014 9:47 AM

    These comments actually make me like him a hell of a lot more.

  44. the8man says: Jan 1, 2014 9:48 AM

    Yikes. Seems like PSU has issues that run throughout the fabric of that program.

    Those boosters and fans better quickly realize that Paterno isn’t coming back and that anyone following him has to literally pay for everything that occurred on Paterno’s watch.

    Pretty stinging indictment.

  45. hudson0527 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:55 AM

    Nice story line. Hope it works out for him and the Texan’s. But I don’t believe it will.

  46. wallyhorse says: Jan 1, 2014 9:58 AM

    This doesn’t surprise me at all:

    While the majority of Penn State fans and alumni understood exactly what was going on and Bill o’Brien was doing the best he could, there were those in what was known as the “Paterno Cult” by some who NEVER would accept Bill o’Brien no matter what. There are still rogue alumni as I understand it who never wanted o’Brien there and I suspect are CELEBRATING o’Brien leaving. It would not surprise me if this group has to be placated to with whoever is the next head coach of Penn State, which to me is why Greg Schiano is the favorite to take over, mainly because he is a “Paterno Man” and would be acceptable to the rogue alumni that in many cases are likely still loyal to the Paterno family.

    I would not be shocked if that rogue alumni eventually sues Penn State to force them to re-instate Paterno as the Coach of Record for the final games of the 2011 season so he posthumously breaks the record for most games coached (Paterno was tied was Amos Alonzo Stagg when everything broke), and also sues the NCAA to attempt to overturn the sanctions. If the latter happens, I suspect that would include forcing the NCAA to prove in a court of law that the sanctions (at the very least being as severe as they were), which were announced a little over 72 hours after the shootings in Colorado in July 2012 had nothing to do with the NCAA being fearful of a copycat coming after them if they did not levy a near death-penalty on Penn State.

  47. lish58 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:03 AM

    He used the PSU job for self promotion. His intent was always the NFL. We at PSU never had to experience the “new world order” of college football especially the insincerity and disingenuousness of some coaches. The statements about “Paterno people” are puzzling though because O’Brien had tremendous support from Penn Staters because he took the job. Taking an NFL job is not the problem here, it is the way he chose to go out with BSing people and whining about the politics of college football. Like he never coached in college before! Good luck to the Texans. I guess a guy who had a 15-9 record in an extremely mediocre Big 10 and who is looked upon as “saving” PSU is good enough for them to continue on their path to mediocrity. Remember NFL stands for not for long!

  48. acpappas says: Jan 1, 2014 10:05 AM

    Why did he take the job in the 1st place. He was replacing a guy that was there practically his whole life.

    Did he think it was going to be easy?

    The next coach will have it just as hard. In about 10 years or so, then this job may get a little easier

  49. boonevol says: Jan 1, 2014 10:08 AM

    I call BS on the whole “he didn’t know what he was getting into” thing. Anyone remotely in the neighborhood of college sports knows there are factions and boosters who wish to control the program to some degree. If you are getting paid millions to coach Bigtime State Tech A&M U., you are the face and representative of it. Particularly when the program is trying to rise up out of the 5th level of Hell and the previous dude was there for as long as Methuselah. He’s either looking for an excuse or dumber than a bag of hammers.

  50. thebadguyswon says: Jan 1, 2014 10:08 AM

    Don’t blame him for wanting to get out.

  51. jschmus says: Jan 1, 2014 10:14 AM

    As a non PSU fan living in PA…..I’m loving every minute of this!!!!!

  52. vincentbojackson says: Jan 1, 2014 10:15 AM

    I don’t blame him. The NCAA is a complete joke to work under.

    Everyone involved in the Sandusky scandal is either, in prison, been fired, or is dead. Meanwhile, the NCAA punishes players and a coaching staff that were not even with the program. They finally admitted they were wrong this year and began reinstating scholarships but it was too late from O’Brien’s perspective.

  53. nfl fan says: Jan 1, 2014 10:18 AM

    PSU will be fine without Bill O’Brien, time to move forward.

  54. tomtravis76 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:20 AM

    Pennsyltucky State will never change.

  55. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:24 AM

    Big. School. Politics.

    Another coach Texas wouldn’t get.

  56. rg3andthensome says: Jan 1, 2014 10:24 AM

    Didn’t he tell a recruit two weeks ago that the NFL was not even a consideration? Did he just lie straight to the kid’s face?

    C’mon man. Just say nothing. Not a bold lie.

  57. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:25 AM

    Living not far from Beaver Stadium, I can assure O’Brien that his contributions during a difficult time were greatly appreciated by everyone, including the so-called “Paterno people” he seemly despised.
    O’Brien inherited a football program that was desperately in need of a change, even before the Sandusky scandal. Joe Paterno should’ve stepped down 15 years before he was ousted. O’Brien was a breath of fresh air.
    Still, O’Brien also benefitted from a cupcake non-conference schedule that was put in place years ago under Paterno for the purpose of stacking easy wins. Throw in a weak Big 10 Conference and O’Brien was able to walk away from Penn State with a winning record, not to mention with a lucrative NFL job, even though his only two significant wins during his Penn State tenure occurred against Wisconsin.
    As for all those “Paterno people,” all they are seeking is the truth, which never had anything to do with O’Brien. In the eyes of many, The Truth has yet to be told.
    Obviously, O’Brien couldn’t handle coaching in the shadows of a legend, a legend who was a shadow of his former self at the time of his controversial dismissal.
    But that’s OK.
    The next guy won’t be following a legend; he’ll be following a quitter.

  58. tampabayirish says: Jan 1, 2014 10:27 AM

    I can’t blame the guy for leaving. However, he is going to have his hands full in Houston. It’s hard to be a great team in the NFL without a great quarterback. He does not have a NFL caliber QB in Houston. No amount of coaching can help that QB group.

  59. dretwann says: Jan 1, 2014 10:28 AM

    Reading a story on the Univ. of Texas coaching job and what that entails made me ask why would anyone want to coach in the college ranks?! Not being a product of a large University, I had no idea what these coaches had to contend with. Coaches and politics are about as far apart from each other as the east is from the west. That said, what exactly did he expect when he took the job? He was coming fresh off the tail of the scandal and he was following behind the most or one of the most iconic college coaches in history.

  60. pfic15 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:29 AM

    Good for O’Brien. Get out while you can. Boosters and college football “people” are the worst.

  61. thefiesty1 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:40 AM

    Mack Brown is available and doesn’t really want to be Special Assistant to President Powers at UT. He’s not done and can handle the politics after putting up with the arrogant UT people.

  62. GBwomenrhot says: Jan 1, 2014 10:45 AM

    Frustrated? WIth what, the Paterno Heads and the Franco Harris’ who were on the warpath after this Child Rapist was caught and the PENN STATE People were caught as well?

    I give the guy a lot of credit for taking the job in the first place, he couldn’t have realized what a friggin mess it was going to be nor the NUT JOBS that call themselves fans (not all, but many)

  63. alshonbrandontandem says: Jan 1, 2014 10:45 AM

    Paterno didn’t rape anyone, and he reported it. Move on already.

  64. eaglesmetal says: Jan 1, 2014 10:47 AM

    What Sandusky did was reprehensible. What the PSU administration, including Paterno, did to cover it up was almost as bad. But there is no one there now who was part of that. It’s a different class of students, athletes, and administration. The people of Pennsylvania and the current students and athletes at Penn State do not deserve the scorn of people who rightly think that what happened there was horribly wrong. But to shut the program down? That only hurts more innocent people. The guilty people are either (A) dead, or (B) going to jail. That’s as it should be. But I really wish people would stop hating on the institution. It is FAR more than the few who acted in such despicable ways. It’s an entire community who were as outraged about what happened as anyone else was. Stop painting PSU and all its fans as if we all were part of the cover up.

  65. GBwomenrhot says: Jan 1, 2014 10:55 AM

    After reading through many of the NEGATIVE replies it’s obvious the PSU’ers got this out to the Message Boards quickly to counter any relevant comments.

    Good job Franco.

  66. jackmack555 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:59 AM

    NFL The kingdom of nepotism every coach and assistant coach is somehow related to each other and they all play musical chairs with 32 teams.

  67. meatcarroll says: Jan 1, 2014 11:00 AM

    Penn State Nittany Stepping Stones.

  68. wnstonchill says: Jan 1, 2014 11:00 AM

    Penn State doesn’t even merit having a football program anymore!
    This legion of Paterno supporters are sick and twisted. To worship a person who lacked the character to do what’s right and allow such sadistic acts to continue, is pure evil!
    Bill O’Brien, you deserve better and so do the sane people that are left in “Penn State Land” ….

  69. meatcarroll says: Jan 1, 2014 11:02 AM

    I’m a Penn State alum and I’m glad O’Brien left, our disgusting coach and administrators heinous actions can never be forgiven. Ashamed to tell people my alma mater.

  70. therealtrenches says: Jan 1, 2014 11:03 AM

    Sheesh, Bill….find an anger management counsellor.

    If I were the owner of the Texans, I’d be reading this and thinking “my GOD, who did I just hire?”

    What a hot head.

  71. billmiller3 says: Jan 1, 2014 11:05 AM

    I’ve gained a new respect for Bill O’Brien. He’ll do well at Houston. He gave his all at Penn State. Franco & company, are you listening? You’re handpicked board of regents better pick a Penn State guy for the new coach…someone who “understands the culture”. The culture of coverup and deceit.

  72. allseeingone says: Jan 1, 2014 11:05 AM

    Paterno and Sadusky “cared” about the kids too… But in a sick and depraved way. Now that O’brien has exposed the “Paterno People”, it’s going to very difficult for PSU to find and hire another high class straight arrow like O’brien.

  73. foolmeonce says: Jan 1, 2014 11:07 AM

    Mike Munchak anyone? Jo Pa player and insider. Seems like that’s what Paterno People want

  74. softhelmet says: Jan 1, 2014 11:08 AM

    I’m not an excuse maker! – – – Sounds like an excuse to me…

  75. Thomas Rydder says: Jan 1, 2014 11:12 AM

    Being frustrated with the politics and “glad-handing” I can understand – but being unaware of their existence after spending so many years involved with both pro and college ball, I can’t. Hell, even a layman like myself knows the incredible amount of money and effort that goes into pulling top recruits into any viable sports program.
    As to the die-hard Joe Pa supporters; I’m a Penn State alum, and had unbounded respect for the man. Like most everyone else – whether they want to admit it or not, the Sandusky (may he rot in hell) debacle called Coach Joe’s priorities into question. No matter what, he’s gone now, God rest his soul, and the football program remains. Let’s concentrate on getting the man in there who will help it to grow, improve, and most importantly, move on, shall we?

  76. polapea says: Jan 1, 2014 11:15 AM

    So tired of the Paterno worship. The guy wasn’t even an active coach at the end, he was a do-nothing figure head. And if you want to talk about what a clean program he ran look into the special treatment his star players got. Look into how Paterno bullied the student discipline council to cover-up and ignore fights, arrests etc. Then consider that he let a pedophile operate with impunity because he didn’t want to deal with it. Until the worshipers stop pining for Paterno the program won’t move forward.

  77. borisbulldog says: Jan 1, 2014 11:18 AM

    He better work out for Bob McNair, cause they just paid Penn State $7MM dollars to grab O’Brien!

    Penn State will get to hire a free HC now for 2.5 years!

  78. insanelomein2 says: Jan 1, 2014 11:20 AM

    The Bill O’Brien era was never going to be long at PSU. He was merely the rebound girl, the bridge to the next potential long term coach.

    To O’Brien’s credit, he is taking over a relatively solid team that just lacked focus and direction.

  79. barenblitt says: Jan 1, 2014 11:35 AM

    Those who post here or anywhere else that pretend to know what Coach Paterno was simply don’t know. And those that speak admiringly about him are not members of a cult or simple deluded hero worshipers. If you were fortunate enough to know the man, then you have the right to say something kind or even unkind about him.

    I am not blind to what he might have done differently, but read both the Freeh Report and Thornburgh Report in total before you make judgments on the basis of out-of-context excerpts. Joe expected too much of his management, and they failed the victims of Sandusky.

    As for Bill O’Brien, he did well for the kids, and he will be missed at Penn State, by the entire Penn State community. The principal job is to coach student-athletes, and to build leadership skills. Coach O’Brien did that very well.

    Sure, winning games is important, but unlike at too many universities, at Penn State winning is not Job 1 – education is. Pursuing high graduation rates and preparing for life is.

    The politics at Penn state, not only motivated by what was termed the “Paterno People”, but also made much worse by the vindictive NCAA, a Board of Trustees that was more concerned with politics and public relations than good governance of the university, and others, must have been brutal for O’Brien. The fact that he kept most of the players at Penn State rather than having most of them transfer out is a testament to him, his staff, and to the school.

    I sincerely hope, as a continuing proud Penn State Alumnus – where I got a very good education – that Penn State will get its political operations in working order again, and select another great head football coach.

  80. dadsource says: Jan 1, 2014 11:38 AM

    As a PSU alum, we KNEW going in that BOB was looking to go back to the NFL. The fact that he stayed two years is a plus. Those of us ‘in the know’ who grew up in and around the Paterno era will never have anything but love for Paterno and his system. Even when he was losing, he was doing it the right way. Joe reported the atrocities to everybody he could, and THEY ignored it. Tar and feather them, but don’t paint him and the 600,000 plus living alumni into the same corner. Heck, at the end of his tenure, Joe couldn’t find the bathroom, much less coach- so leave him be!

    However, BOB saved recruits, sold the program as a ambassador, and got some big names in! Developed McGloin well, Hackenburg is an absolute GEM! (let’s see what happens to him without BOB)

    Thanks Bill, I was just starting to like you. Still respect you. As a Jaguars fan, it SUCKS that you are coming to the AFC South, where I can count on two losses per year. The next coach we get won’t be as good as you were. You did all you could here. You’re leaving the program at a good time in good shape. Coulda left out the big baby fit at the end- you would have retained all the class we thought you had and kept that ‘hothead’ rumor just that….now it’s out.

    Best of luck BOB. You came into an impossible situation and may be the only coach in the history of the NCAA to follow a legend and succeed. (No, FSU, Jimbo was eased into the program and has taken years to build in a horrible conference)

  81. dartwick says: Jan 1, 2014 11:56 AM

    To the people saying O’Brian misused Penn State or that he knew what he was getting into.

    The President of Penn State agreed to the vindictive and unprecedented NCAA sanctions – after they hired O’Brian.

    And the St. Joe contingent of Alumni is probably a minority but they have an outsized voice.
    They are basically the shame of all reasonable Penn State fans but they are persistant.

    I dont blame him at all for leaving – PSU should be thankful for the help he gave them.

  82. granadafan says: Jan 1, 2014 12:00 PM

    This should be a wake up call to the disgraceful actions of the Paterno people and blind supporters. They irrationally blamed O’Brien for their hero getting rightly fired.

    Penn St absolutely deserved any and all NCAA sanctions. What the fans don’t realize (or conveniently forget) is that today’s players and staff enjoy amazing facilities built on the millions in donations while innocent children were crying out in terror from a predator. The head coach and administration intentionally turned a blind eye and actively suppressed any investigation because they didn’t want the millions in donations, merchandising, TV/ radio broadcasts, bowl games, etc, to stop.

    Until Penn St and especially the fans completely recognize what they did was wrong they will continue to be delusional and rightfully mocked.

  83. rubenxx7 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:23 PM

    psu deserves everything they get coming to them. shame shame on paterno and coverup.

  84. virgilcole says: Jan 1, 2014 12:26 PM

    Yeah, because there is no “politics” involved in coaching in the NFL at all.

    The fans there are will give you all the time you need to build a winning program.

    Take your time.

    Lol…..

  85. flyeaglefly says: Jan 1, 2014 12:47 PM

    Most college football fans don’t give a rip about penn state football and all the paterno, Koolaid-aid drinking zealots…the program, on a football level has been irrelevant for over a decade…now they can go hire Schiano or Munchack and be even more irrelevant…good luck with either…

  86. bigperm33 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:58 PM

    I just do not understand why O’Brien took the Penn State job in the first place. If his dream was to coach in the NFL, and the NFL was his destination, why leave the Patriots? His replacement, who has already failed as a head coach, is getting interviews right now to be a head coach? it seems to me if he wanted to be an NFL head coach, being an O-coordinator with the patriots was a pretty god stepping stone. He didn’t have to commit to penn state forever, but to leave after just two years, makes no sense. What did he expect? Did he not know how the “paterno people” would be? Did he not know the politics that came along with being a big time college football coach? did he not expect those penalties?

  87. brucejdunlbrucejdunl says: Jan 1, 2014 1:00 PM

    I was as big a Paterno fan as there was, and I still am. But, the biggest thing he did to hurt the PSU football program was staying ten years too long. If he had left ten years earlier, most or perhaps all of the other nonsense would not have happened, and PSU would have had a viable coach.

    Joe was great, but it couldn’t last forever!!

    B O’b was good for us, but you had to know he was short term.

  88. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 1, 2014 1:37 PM

    Well he has a better job now and PSU probably learned something valuable in the process. A win-win, congrats to all!

  89. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2014 1:40 PM

    Benedict Bill will be out of Houston after 3 years looking for a better job. This is the same turncoat who told players to stay and look what he does. I hope no PSU player goes there.

  90. derekgorgonstar says: Jan 1, 2014 2:06 PM

    Nice job, Ped State. This will help your already sterling reputation.
    Especially when you have morons on here calling him Benedict Bill, smh, lol…..

  91. musicman495 says: Jan 1, 2014 2:07 PM

    The Penn State apologists and Paterno sycophants did not deserve Bill O’Brien. They – and you know who you are – are the enablers of a culture that permitted Sandusky to do whatever he wanted to do unchecked in the first place, and did their best to make life miserable for the guy who tried to clean it up. Good luck Bill O’Brien. As for PSU, I hope you team up with Greg Sciano. You deserve each other.

  92. tomthebombtracy says: Jan 1, 2014 2:20 PM

    After watching Johnny Football tear up Duke last night, how hard will it be for the Texans/O’Brien to pass him up on draft day come May. Other QBs like Bridgewater may be rated higher, but this is Texas, you know.

    O’Brien goes from a tough deal to a good deal. Bob McNair wants to win badly and Houston is the 4th largest TV market and that city will explode with a winner.

    Regarding Paterno, I was in a suite at FED X Field in 2010 when Penn State played Indiana in a home game the latter moved to DC. I was directly across the opposite side where Penn State had its bench. I put the glasses on Joe Pa and he might as well have been a cigar store Indian. No players or coaches even interfaced with him and when Sanduskygate happened not long after, I could see that applause junkie Paterno could be isolated. That wasn’t just his excuse…it was the problem.

    For Nittany naysayers, it’s a gift that keeps giving. Three more trials coming up for Spanier (Moe), Schutlz (Larry) and Curley (Curly!) mean more fodder. And a central issue in the Gov’s re-election campaign is what Tom Corbett knew or didn’t know when he was A.G. People who support Paterno think he didn’t do anything to defend him; people who are the other way think Penn State got off easy. That’s why Gov. Corbett’s approval rating is even worse than Pres. Obama.

  93. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 1, 2014 2:23 PM

    As a Penn State alum (’88), I am very grateful what Coach O’Brien did — stepping up at a dark time when the NCAA levied draconian long term sanctions — on basically nobody but the innocent.

    It took some nuts for Coach O’Brien to embrace that kind of challenge – it was not for the feint of heart. One thing about Coach O’Brien — he’s got a pair.

    About his leaving PSU, it hurts. He ran a (long overdue) pro style offense – and recruited some high quality players and people in the face of daunting recruiting challenges.

    About his reported issues with the “Paterno faction” — I don’t know what this is.

    Most of us at Penn State, but not all of us, don’t feel Joepa knew or understood anything about the depth of the atrocities Sandusky was committing behind closed doors. Who would ever think a full grown man would want to mess with little kids like that? The (understandable) rage people felt at what Sandusky was up to — seemed to zeroed in on Paterno. I can’t imagine Coach Paterno ever knew.

    Tying it all together, I’m a “Paterno person” – but I was also (and still am) a big “O’Brien person” too. And I don’t understand why the two concepts are necessarily mutually exclusive.

  94. drs76109 says: Jan 1, 2014 2:27 PM

    You know, he never moved to PA. He maintained his residence in Cape Cod, for crying out loud. Kinda tells you everything about his intentions. He wasn’t ‘to going to stay long. And he has milked his career out of one silly incident: yelling at Tom Brady on the side line. But the college coaching thing is different from the pros and it does demand a different skill set.

    I think Tom Bradley should’ve remained the HC after he was interim. Fine football coach and had nothing to do with what Sandusky was convicted of doing. But I suspect they won’t consider him. Schismo would be a terrible hire. Not sure he has the appropriate temperament. Al Golden. Ought be a good hire since he has experience now handling tough non-coaching situations at Miami. For my money, I’d ask Mack Brown, a solid football coach, complete class act, to come in. He’d stay for a few years and then retire. But he’d understand the dynamics and needs for being a college football HC at a school with some notoriety.

    That said, yes, I agree with some posters that some need to move on. Paterno didn’t do it – Sandusky did. He reported what he knew. Maybe he is guilty of not beating the tar paper out of Sandusky himself. But he upheld his legal and procedural requirements – as any employee in any organization would be required to do. Further, PSU students should not be talked down on. It is a fine school with excellent faculty and some nationally renown academic programs. And I say this not being a PSU grad.

    Finally, I can just imagine – based on the article cited here – this guy doing a Jim Mora: “Playoffs? You kiddin’ me, playoffs?” Which makes me wonder if HC’s – pro and college – are given training in how to handle press conferences and other aspects of media handling and PR. If not, it should be done.

  95. coyote19 says: Jan 1, 2014 2:32 PM

    Just wondering: what percentage of Paterno People also believe that evolution is a hoax, Obama was born in a foreign land, and global warming is a myth?

  96. realfootballfan says: Jan 1, 2014 2:48 PM

    From what I know of him, that fiery demeanor is not an act. Chad Johnson said he was the type of guy who would embarrass Tom Brady in offensive meetings. However there’s a fine line that you need to walk with that because NFL pllayers will turn on you if they aren’t as thick skinned as Brady is and get you fired. My guess, he needs to tone that way down to be successful in the NFL, or he’ll end up being another Jim Schwartz type that comes off as a raving lunatic.

  97. hodag54501 says: Jan 1, 2014 3:31 PM

    If what O’Brien said is true, and the “Paterno people” have to be satisfied, look for a long dry spell for Penn State.
    When Vince Lombardi left Green Bay, the goal was to find someone who would re-do what Lombardi had done. In trying to find the next Lombardi, everyone came up short, including the most beloved of Packers, Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg. The old guard from the Lombardi days still ran the Board of Directors and it was one bad move after another. It wasn’t until the Packers cut ties with the past, hired Ron Wolf and rebuilt from the ground up did they start winning again. When you live in the past you have no future.

  98. opneon says: Jan 1, 2014 4:17 PM

    Well I DID respect Bill, but he has it sooo wrong. I live in PA and don’t know one person who hated him for this move.

    They are sorry to see him leave but respect(ed) him for what he had done for the program.

    BUT NOW…talk about burning bridges!
    I think he has just destroyed my opinion of him, as well as a lot of PSU and other decent fans across the nation.

    He just destroyed everything he had created!

  99. swampfox42 says: Jan 1, 2014 4:18 PM

    Good for him.
    PSU was lucky they didn’t get a death penalty type
    punishment.
    Bunch of petty bureaucrats

  100. wnstonchill says: Jan 1, 2014 4:37 PM

    @ barenblitt
    Wake up! Paterno tainted his legacy by not acting in good faith when his character was most tested! There are ill-minded folks out there who worship this man and have chose to overlook his lack of doing the right thing. Bottom line, Paterno allowed acts of evil to take place without doing EVERYTHING in his power to stop it!
    He deserves the ponding he gets!

  101. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 1, 2014 4:46 PM

    As a Penn State alum (’88), I am very grateful what Coach O’Brien did — stepping up at a dark time when the NCAA levied draconian long term sanctions — on basically nobody but the innocent.

    It took some nuts for Coach O’Brien to embrace that kind of challenge – it was not for the feint of heart. One thing about Coach O’Brien — he’s got a pair.

    About his leaving PSU, it hurts. He ran a (long overdue) pro style offense – and recruited some high quality players and people in the face of daunting recruiting challenges.

    About his reported issues with the “Paterno faction” — I don’t know what this is.

    Most of us at Penn State, but not all of us, don’t feel Joepa knew or understood anything about the depth of the atrocities Sandusky was committing behind closed doors. Who would ever think a full grown man would want to mess with little kids like that? The (understandable) rage people felt at what Sandusky was up to — seemed to zeroed in on Paterno. I can’t imagine Coach Paterno ever knew.

    Tying it all together, I’m a “Paterno person” – but I was also (and still am) a big “O’Brien person” too. And I don’t understand why the two concepts are necessarily mutually exclusive.

  102. sasquash20 says: Jan 1, 2014 4:52 PM

    I hope Franklin doesn’t take the job. In a matter of a few years a real college contender will emerge and be much better for him.

    PSU is a joke. The fact that they didn’t get the death penalty is a joke. The NCAA is a joke, who never fully delivers any punishment it hands out. I’m sorry but when that many children are abused you need to send a message, and not to just colleges. The death penalty would have done that. But in the end it really just comes down to money doesn’t it.

    BOB is making the right choice. PSU will never win anything for awhile, or even compete for a championship maybe ever. I wouldn’t let my kids go there.

  103. billmiller3 says: Jan 1, 2014 5:44 PM

    OK. Let’s put this myth to rest! The poor “innocent” kids who are playing at Penn State now, knew the consequences when they decided to go there. They also knew they were getting into a culture of lies, deceit and coverups. In spite of that, they willingly chose to go there. Why? I don’t know. It wasn’t for the good looking uniforms. Joe Pa had his defining moment and failed miserably. He had the opportunity to help (at least) 21 innocent young boys and put his football program’s reputation ahead of these kids’ well being. If Joe Pa and Spanier do the right thing, this would be known as the “Sandusky Scandal”. Because they chose to cover it up (with a lot of help), it will forever be known as the “Penn State Football Scandal”. The mentality that allowed this to happen, is still pervasive in State College. People like Franco Harris are more interested in Paterno’s soiled reputation than the tragedy that happened to Sandusky’s victims. Shame, shame, shame! The place should be closed…there’s an awful stench emanating from Happy Valley even yet.

  104. carloswlassiter says: Jan 1, 2014 6:50 PM

    Who in their right mind would want this job? Gotta be someone with few options, like a just-fired Schiano, or possibly Munchak if the Titans let hm go.

    The guys mentioning Vandy’s Franklin are delusional – that guy has many options at places with a lot more to offer than PSU.

  105. Sean Donnelly says: Jan 1, 2014 6:57 PM

    As a Penn State student, let me be the first to tell you that he was absolutely WORSHIPPED by the students. I don’t know who these “Paterno people” are though. I really wish he stuck with us through the Hackenberg era. Everyone is in limbo now, and it’s a dark day.

  106. vegasdestroyer says: Jan 1, 2014 7:18 PM

    BOBby Petrino

  107. ssmoon2010 says: Jan 1, 2014 7:51 PM

    Stepping Stone? What person in their right mind would have taken the job in the first place.

  108. basedrum777 says: Jan 2, 2014 9:30 AM

    From what I’ve heard and seen, he took a job nobody could’ve possibly filled and did a damn good job keeping a school relevant when it would’ve been very easy for it to go to irrelevant pretty quickly. He graduated most of his kids from what i understand as well. Good luck to him.

  109. dualprime says: Jan 2, 2014 11:07 AM

    Dang! All the guy did was accept a job to be an NFL HC. You’d think he committed treason based on some of these posts. He might be the next BB. He might be the next Spurrier. Sit back and watch.

  110. bucsboyle says: Jan 2, 2014 4:05 PM

    Memo to “Paterno Men”

    1. Joe Paterno was fired.
    2. Joe Paterno is dead
    3. Move on!

    Good Luck in Houston, Bill!

  111. hauts81 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:53 PM

    O’Brien has spent most of his coaching career in college so he should know that college football is all about politicking and glad-handing. If he hated doing that stuff he should have never accepted the job.

  112. mogogo1 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:35 PM

    Every PSU article brings out the exact faction that drove O’Brien nuts. The people who somewhere along the line became more fans of Paterno the man than they were of Penn State the team.

    Problem is, those sorts also dominate the administration of the college itself. And as long as they’re around, no coach is going to be really comfortable in Happy Valley. Any deviation from how JoePa would have done things will be seen as a slight of the legend’s memory; there’ll always be some way the new guy doesn’t measure up.

  113. op0987 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:21 AM

    Probably about 98 % of the Penn State fan base was behind O’Brien, but he needed an excuse to make him look good after he promised his players he would be there when he recruited them. What better way to off load your guilt for leaving, and make yourself look good than to create an imaginary Bogeyman group as the reason you’re leaving? All of the people that I know that still liked Joe Paterno also liked O’Brien. But O’Brien knew that the Paterno name would create a media fueled negative backlash and an unfounded Bogeyman group that he could blame for his departure. Stupid people and Penn State haters quickly jumped on the theme that the honorable O’Brien was forced to leave because of the, so-called, Paterno people. There were no Paterno people hounding this guy and he was well liked and respected. So he crafted this imaginary group as his reason for leaving to cover up the real reason, fame and money. I would have had more respect for him if he just said: I always told you that I wanted to be an NFL coach and leave it at that. Bill O’Brien was not a class act and in the end he spit in the face of his loyal supporters. As for Penn State they had the opportunity to hire a real honorable coach and that was interim coach Tom Bradley. It’s ironic that the interim coach replacing O’Brien is also from the Paterno era and that should speak volumes to the O’Brien people about loyalty.

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